Monday, April 15, 2013

Farnley Ponies

If you have followed ponies through the decades in the horse show world, then you have certainly heard the name "Farnley."  I was driving through the area on Sunday and thought about it as went through White Post, Virginia, out Route 50 beyond Middleburg and Upperville in the heart of the Virginia horse country.

The farm was started in 1936 when Joan Dunning went to England to look at ponies, thinking that she might want to raise ponies on her farm.  She bought three Dartmoor mares and a stallion and three Welsh mares from three old studs:  Bowdler, Criban, and Coed Coch.  The horses came over on ships way back then.

In 1938 the first foal was born:  Farnley Sirius.  There were no Welsh mares in the country at the time so she did not breed Sirius.  

After World War II Ms. Dunning made more trips and brought back more ponies.  It took a week and a half to make the crossing and she also bought Cleveland Bays and a Bull Terrier.   Ms. Dunning's daughter, Hetty M-S Abeles now owns the farm and started breeding ponies at Farnley using the "Shenandoah" prefix.  The rest is history.

Farnley Belshazzar

Some may have gotten to see the "Ponies Through the Decades" exhibit at the Wheeler Museum in Lexington, Kentucky last year where there were many photos of these famous ponies along with awards and coolers they won at the most prestigious horse shows in the country. I blogged about it here.

Wheeled Museum Exhibit

Wheeler Museum Exhibit

Farnley Kohlrabi

Farnley Dolphin

I always wanted a Farnley pony when I was a little girl.  It's nice to know that they are "still going" after all these years!


  1. The farm that I rode at in college bred Welshes, and had a mini collection of a few Farnley and at least one Shenendoah pony. They were adorable and very fancy.

  2. We took ponies to Pimlico the other week for the Chasin for Children pony races and their was a beautiful Farnley pony there that I wanted to super size to about 16 hands. Up in our neck of the woods in Maryland we have Loafers Lodge ponies that are just so beautiful and you can tell them apart right away.


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